Loan Originators are often challenged by the demands of a hectic summer schedule. With large numbers of purchase transactions trying to close before the new school year, and the over-stuffed refinance pipelines most mortgage professionals are now carrying, it often makes it difficult to keep everyone happy. Part of my coaching process is to be sure that all my clients have a realistic work schedule that allows the proper amount of time for both professional and personal responsibilities.
Here are a few simple steps that I used with my clients to help them be productive and profitable while having the time to enjoy the summer lifestyle with their family and friends.
1) Set your schedule through the entire summer and work within the schedule instead of adding to it.
2) Leave a day on either end of your travel plans to clear your head before the trip, or to prepare yourself to go back to work.
3) Communicate your availability to your co-workers, your referral partners, and your clients.
4) Be real with your time expectations.
5) Do not over commit or become emotionally attached to any outcome.
6) Do it right the first time.
7) Do not spend time with those who won’t commit.
My clients have found it very helpful to look at the summer as a segment of time from June through September. By understanding all of the personal and professional time demands in advance, you have a reasonable expectation to get in everything you want to do, along with all the things you need to do. Some people go on a single long vacation. Others like to schedule a series of long weekends or middle of the week excursions. Either way, taking time off is great and should be done. You just have to take the time and do a little planning. Get all of the major events on the calendar so you can set yourself up to succeed. Each Sunday night you should then look at the upcoming week and be sure you have a clean schedule of events as well as a set list of tasks to be completed. Being proactive goes a long way in being productive!
If you are taking more than a few days to go on vacation, be sure to add a day on each end to prepare to have fun, and then to prepare to get back to work. Decompression before a vacation will help you enjoy the time away. The extra day to prepare will allow you to enjoy your entire vacation and be ready to get back to work refreshed.
Mortgage professionals need to be great communicators. People want, need, and deserve information. Being clear on how you will communicate with people is paramount. You can never be 100% accessible. You can be professional in the manner in which you communicate and set the expectations with all of your people about how and when you will communicate with them. Set a regular pattern of returning calls and emails. Set up a schedule of how and when you share file status, follow-up, and other important information with your people. Set reasonable expectations and then deliver on schedule!
Loan professionals are often guilty of not knowing how long things really take to do. They often over book their own schedules, or have unrealistic expectations about how long their own work takes to complete. This often leads to a great deal of stress, and often incomplete or sloppy file submissions.
Never make a promise you can’t keep. Things happen. Things go wrong and sideways sometimes. You have to be honest and quick with the information, along with any potential solutions you may have to resolve any issue. The point is, you can NEVER become emotionally attached to the outcome. Not to the client, not to the company, and certainly not to the commission. This is a business. Nobody dies when a mistake is made or a challenge comes up. There is no need for drama or implied heroics. Just know your job, set realistic expectations, define the process, keep solid communication with all parties, and have solutions ready for whatever challenge that may come up.
Do your job correctly the first time. Being a mortgage professional now requires you get it right from the very start. Compliance and regulatory requirements dictate that you have an obligation to knowing what is, and isn’t a deal. As a coach to some of the best loan professionals in the industry, I see every day the difference between how a true professional works, and those who are simply trying to put together a deal. The difference is in getting the file PERFECT from the very start. The old saying, “measure twice and cut once” comes to mind. Taking a few extra minutes to double check your work, to double check the numbers, to review the documentation, can save you hours down the road.
The last piece of the puzzle is to not spend time with people who won’t commit. The market is ripe with opportunities. Spending more than ten or fifteen minutes with someone that won’t commit to your process is a waste of time. Everyone has questions. Everyone wants answers. The point is, without all the details and documentation, you are just talking hypotheticals, and that helps nobody. Explain to your prospective client about the value of real specific information. How what they can borrow and how they can borrow it is a very specific situation that requires real factual information. You are the professional. You need to control the process. Remember these words: “Documentation beats conversation every time!”
These are just a few tips on how mortgage professionals who do a great deal of business, get it done in the summer time, while being able to enjoy themselves as they service their clients and referral partners.